Niall McDevitt

A ‘Hymn’ to Marlowe

birds of the air will tell of murders past

Marlowe empurpled, the state and stations of death

archive his cloven mind as it conjugates
the Latin of reality into past/present only.
the future is the faces of the triumvirate

an English agent is not an English patient
crossing blood-brain-barrier into night’s syllogism
in time for Faustian bells to relay
news to the newscasters of the hourly schism

the living stand smaller than the supine cadaver
(they who never brandish truth as a scourge)
Baconians to a man, quantifying the blade’s value.
the river is the helm of Her Majesty’s verge

navigating its blue arc about the Isle of Dogs.
Marlowe embalmed in the place of the skulls
is consumed by the earth of the holy boneyard.
o chalice misused, misunderstood by God’s gulls


Niall McDevitt is the author of three collections of poetry, b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010), Porterloo (International Times, 2013) and Firing Slits, Jerusalem Colportage (New River Press, 2016). He is also known for his psychogeographical, psychohistorical walks such as The William Blake Walk, An Arthur Rimbaud Drift, A Chaucer London Pilgrimage, The KensingtonModernists, and many others. As art-activist he has campaigned to save the Rimbaud-Verlaine house in Mornington Crescent, and against overdevelopment of sites near Blake’s burial ground in Bunhill Fields. In 2016 he performed his poetry in Iraq at the Babylon Festival. He blogs at

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